‘Twas the night before Christmas—for nurses
iStock | Patlakpiksel
’Twas the night before Christmas, and all ’cross the floor
My patients were snoozing. My shift was a bore.
Unconscious, not hearing the IV pumps beeping,
They all lay in bed. Propofol helped their sleeping.
But then, my charge nurse, he looked up with a frown
And said, “Visiting’s over—so who is this clown?”
Sure enough, when I looked by the main unit door,
There was a small man where there wasn’t before.
I thought he was homeless. He had a big beard
And his outfit, all soot-stained, was honestly weird.
The cleanest thing on him were big shiny boots,
And those carried traces of…well, livestock poop.
He had a big bag, not an old grocery cart
Which struck me as being unusually smart.
(The wheels on those things make a hell of a noise;
They’re hard to sneak past our security boys.)
Well, anyway. Here we were on Christmas Eve,
And the gall of this old man was hard to believe.
He’d walked in like he owned the place, and now he
Was opening up that sack, cool as could be.
My charge darn near jumped right out of his skin
As the old man turned ’round with a nod and a grin.
“I brought you some gifts. Gather ’round, guys,”
He said, winking first one, and then both of his eyes.
Approaching with care, we peered into the sack
And what we saw there took us both quite aback.
For, to our astonishment, what did we see?
Adequate staffing! We shouted with glee.
“There’s more,” Santa said, as he dove in his pack;
“A manager who always will have your back!
“A resident who can write sensible orders!
“A station that’s not from a screening of Hoarders!”
We danced and we cheered, in spite of ourselves
As he pulled out the things he’d had made by his elves:
Self-changing beds and self-starting IVs,
And dozens of other things certain to please.
We thanked him sincerely, for Santa had brought
A way for us to do our jobs as we ought.
He laughed, ever jolly, and patted my head,
Then waved goodbye as he returned to his sled.
My charge nurse and I watched him fly out of sight
Agreeing that this was a wonderful night.
We brewed up the coffee he’d left, drank a cup…
Then, sadly, the oncoming shift woke us up.
Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Agatha Lellis